Old-pro Luis Collazo edges Samuel Vargas in grueling 10-rounder
By Bill Tibbs
Despite a valiant effort, in a close fight on the scorecards, rugged welterweight contender Samuel Vargas (30-5-2, 14 KO’s) lost a heartbreaker to former world champion Luis Collazo (39-7, 20 KO’s) on Sunday afternoon at the Hulu Theatre inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Judges Glenn Feldman scored it 96-94 and Frank Lombardi had it 98-92, both for Collazo, while judge Don Trella saw it 96-94 for Vargas.
The fight was one of the chief support bouts to headliner Michael Conlan’s UD win over Ruben Garcia Hernandez in front of nearly 4000 loud and proud Irish boxing fans on what is becoming an annual, St. Patrick’s Day boxing card tradition in March in New York City.
The loss was a setback for the hard working Vargas who has faced the likes of Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr. and Amir Khan in his 9-year career.
The native of Toronto, Canada came within a punch or two of upsetting the heavily favoured Khan in their September bout and was looking to use the Collazo fight as springboard into a position to fight for a title.
While the fight is disappointing for Vargas, he certainly put in a performance that should see him be able to secure fights against other contenders in boxing’s star studded welterweight division.
Like the Collazo fight on Sunday, after the Khan fight, Vargas was frustrated but vowed to return.
“I don’t give up, I never give up”, said Vargas. “God blessed me with a strong heart, I’m a warrior."
Something tells me we haven’t seen the last of the exciting and determined Vargas.
The victory was the third straight for Collazo (39-7, 20 knockouts) since he was stopped in seven rounds challenging WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman in July 2015.
“As a fighter, we always want to fight for a world title,” Collazo said. “I want to be a world champion again. I still got the desire. I still got the fire. And I would like to fight the top guys in the welterweight division. They know who they are. I called them out before. It just hasn’t happened.”